Saturday 26th April 2008 – Swansea City 4 Leyton Orient 1 – League One – Match Report by Nigel Gigg
Swans finally produced a terrific performance at the Liberty Stadium and brushed aside Leyton Orient in front of a crowd just short of 17,000.
For once warm sunshine was the order of the day and Roberto Martinez made six changes from last weeks poor display against Yeovil. Guillem Bauza replaced Febian Brandy in attack, Paul Anderson started ahead of Tom Butler and Owain Tudur Jones came in for the suspended Darren Pratley.
In defence Alan Tate made way for the return of Angel Rangel, Marcos Painter came in for Kev Austin and club captain Garry Monk made his at the expense of Ashley Williams. Williams’s omission was probably the only surprise and many would have played him alongside Garry Monk. The mystery of Williams’s omission was enhanced with him not even making the bench.
It was a proud day for Jacks everywhere with the promotion party in full swing. I had the great pleasure of welcoming my good friend Jan Linssen from Holland back to the Liberty. Jan had arranged for a few work colleagues to join him on the trip and I watched the game in the middle of a party of 24 Dutchmen and one Dutch lady.
They all work in the Sports Department for the Dutch television producers EyeWorks and had chosen this weekend for their visit to Swansea as the Dutch Eredivisiere had a weekend off and the only game their company was covering was the Dutch Cup Final. It seemed with 25 of the commentators, match summarisers, technical experts and other assorted back room staff unavailable that they needed to call on freelances to cover their Cup Final. But the trip to Swans could not be affected!
Team: De Vries, Rangel, Monk, Lawrence, Painter, Anderson, Britton, Jones, Robinson, Bauza, Scotland. Subs- Tate, Austin, Way, Butler, Brandy.
From the off Swans looked to ball their passing game but were unable to find space behind Orient‘s defence in the early minutes.
Orient, to their credit looked as if they had come to play football and they looked a decent outfit early on.
Most of the Swans threat unsurprisingly was coming down the right with the rejuvenated Angel Rangel and outstanding Paul Anderson causing full back Charlie Daniels all sorts of problems.
It was Daniels error that led to the opening goal on 17 minutes. Garry Monk played a 40 yard ball out of defence toward Paul Anderson out wide right. Daniels thought he could intercept the ball and dived in front of Anderson but misjudged the bounce and was left on the wrong side of the speedy winger. Anderson left Daniels in his wake and cut in from the wing toward the edge of the box. He unleashed a thunderbolt of a drive with his left foot that flew into the top corner leaving Orient keeper Glenn Morris beaten all ends up.
The goal lifted the crowd and gave the Swans players greater confidence. For the first time in ages Swans were playing majestic football. It was no surprise when Swans extended their lead on 24 minutes.
Again the move came down the right. Paul Anderson crossed low to Jason Scotland who tried to turn Brian Saah. Saah looked to bundle Scotland over and with everyone screaming for a penalty Guillem Bauza followed up and drove the ball in from 10 yards out.
Swans were rampant now and Oreint were being outclassed. Swans were retaining possession for long periods and their passing game was close to its best.
A long period of Swans possession led to the Swans third goal. Angel Rangel lifted the ball forward behind the Orient back line which had pushed forward. Jason Scotland beat the offside trap but was always second favourite to Orient keeper Morris in the chase to the ball. Morris got their first, ten yards outside his area, but his woeful clearance under pressure from Scotland, fell straight to Guillem Bauza who lifted the ball into the empty net from 40 yards out.
The fourth goal came just short of half time. Andy Robinson, who was having a quiet game, went on a mazy run. He created space for himself and his shot was well saved by Morris but the rebound fell once more to Guillem Bauza. With the ball bouncing quite high Bauza had trouble keeping the ball down and scored off the underside of the bar with the Spaniard needing the linesman to confirm his first Swans hat trick.
The second half was something of ‘After the Lord Mayors parade’. The excellent Leon Britton made way for Darren Way and shortly after Orient pulled one back.
Substitute JJ Melligan got a great cross in from the right that went over Dorus de Vries. Angel Rangel was beaten in the air by Wayne Gray and his header limped across the line.
Swans seemed content to continue to sit back. Guillem Bauza made way for Febian Brandy and Paul Anderson made way for Tom Butler late on.
Swans did have a few chances to extend their lead but Glenn Morris made good saves to deny Jason Scotland two or three times and also made a great save from Tom Butler in injury time.
The end of the game saw terrific celebrations both on and off the pitch but these were once more cut short by an idiotic pitch invasion.
Swans now go into their final game of the season a massive nine points clear and only the ridiculous spectre of Leeds unjustified claim for the return of points denying them the so deserved Championship Trophy.
De Vries 7- Decent game, very popular with my Dutch friends for some reason.
Rangel 8 – Great to see him back.
Monk 9 – Outstanding, made such a difference.
Lawrence 7 – Monk’s return no doubt helped him.
Painter 7 – Offers us so much more at left back.
Anderson 9 – Just hope this isn’t the last time we see him at the Liberty. Huw Jenkins may need deep pockets to tempt the youngster away form Anfield but few would argue he’s not worth it.
Britton 8 – Another great display.
Jones 8 – Did the simple things going forward and a physical presence when defending. Great to see him get through 90 minutes.
Robinson 6 – Very quiet game.
Bauza 9 – Three fabulous goals, all from following up and getting in the right place.
Scotland 7 – Numerous chances but failed to find the net.
Way 7 – Did Ok for his 30 minute run out.
Brandy 6 – Started his loan spell like a whirling dervish but ending it with a whimper.
Butler 7- Great shot late on.